Depending on digital media in disasters

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Preparing for a hurricane in 2011 means keeping up with social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook.

A joint poll released today by Ron Sachs Communications and Mason Dixon shows one in two people would use social media or text messaging to find out if they are in harm's way.

The poll also discovered that half would use social media to let their friends and family know if they need help or made it out okay.

National Hurricane Survival Initiative Spokeswoman Michelle Ubben says social media is becoming a useful tool for emergency workers. "That's good news because it gives us tools that we didn't have just a few years ago and emergency mangers have gotten very skilled at using those to find people who are in need and to get them the help that they need."

The report found that 60 percent of people under the age of 35 would turn to social media for updates and warnings, compared to just 45 percent of people 35 to 60.

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